Interoperability between LTPAC facilities and hospitals – Why and How?

Interoperability between LTPAC facilities and HospitalsAs the pressure on Long-Term Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) facilities to become ever more competitive grows, the need of Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) and Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) to maintain a leading edge grows as well. As healthcare providers rely more and more on electronically stored data and patient information to make medical decisions and run all aspects of their operations, LTPAC software platforms must be better prepared to adequately integrate and utilize available data. Adapting to customers and their partners’ unique workflows and allowing integrations and customizations is essential for this process and achieving iteroperability between LTPAC facilities is prime example for just that.

LTPAC facilities should integrate clinical and financial data with respective systems in hospitals and other facilities. Effective integrations have been shown to save hundreds of hours of manual labor, improve workflow, and reduce errors caused by clerical mistakes; these efficiencies translate to both dramatic cost savings and increased productivity. Additionally, integration of systems can make data available to analytic and decision support platforms, resulting in real-time operational benefits across EHR, Financial and other systems.

These days, most software vendors try to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to LTPAC. While it is easier to develop and support such system, the specific (and often custom) needs of individual facilities to integrate with third-party and adjacent systems are often overlooked. Moreover, such generic systems pride themselves on user-friendliness due to their facility-specific optimization.

For example, while hospitals’ acute care information systems usually send updated census to their Ancillary Management Systems, LTPAC facilities often find themselves laboring to manually enter this data into these systems. This constant effort consumes time and is prone to suffer from all the risks associated with manual business processes. For these and other reasons, the optimal way to approach the need for data integration is to interface relevant LTPAC systems with the hospital’s ones. Before anything else, such integration requires the information system to capture every discrete data element and be prepared to interface with other systems, even when custom interface is required.

These benefits are a testament to the value of implementing an open system in a heterogeneous environment. As competition increases in the LTPAC market, it becomes critical to implement connected systems that will create a tangible competitive advantage.